A new Off The Shelf Column in Reference Books Bulletin (Booklist) explores open access e-textbooks. The CK12 Foundation, Connexions, Flatworld Knowledge, and Merlot are discussed. Other Off The Shelf pieces are on the articles page.
I am reproducing this post from the teleread blog, thanks Paul!
Flat World, the publisher of commercial open source college textbooks, had partnered with Barnes & Noble College Booksellers and NACS Media Solutions to distribute their textbooks to over 3,000 college bookstores for the fall semester.
These are pilot programs and will launch in August. The average cost of a Flat Word textbook is $29.95 which, they say, is 75% lower than most conventional textbooks. The bookstores will receive digital files and the college instructors can then remix, reorder and add content. The stores than will use POD to provide paper copies.
(sp) I saw a presentation from FlatWorld at the TOC conference and discussed them in my top 10 takeaways from the conference. They have an interesting business model, I’ll be anxious to see if they find success at the college bookstores.
Expect to find print on demand textbooks and other academic and trade titles available for POD in college bookstores very soon. From a press release, “NACS Media Solutions (NMS), a
subsidiary of the National Association of College Stores (NACS) and On Demand Books LLC (ODB), the maker of the Espresso Book Machine® (EBM), have entered into a joint agreement
whereby NMS will market the EBM to the collegiate marketplace and permission academic content for distribution throughout the worldwide network of EBMs.” No word on pricing. Thanks to Teleread for the info.
Earlier this week I attended the O’Reilly Tools of Change (TOC) Conference for the first time. Over 1250 attendees gathered in New York City to discuss and network about issues and trends in publishing, in particular, digital publishing. While much of the information presented was for the publishing industry, I did manage to find several great ideas and concepts that relate to libraries. I’d like to share these with you, in no apparent order. Continue reading
- TOC great session on POD here – publishers really should consider this option – “leaving money on the table” if you aren’t #
- TOC – summary of digital printing session here: http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/?p=503 #
- TOC ebook contracts session – my summary here: http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/?p=516 #
- #TOCCON stronger copyright protection can’t make a consumer buy/watch something they don’t want to buy/watch – William Patry, Google #
- Macmillan Dynamic Books, via Course Smart #
- #TOCCON keynote speaker summaries at http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/?p=526 #
- #TOCCON Future of Digital Textbooks summary http://www.libraries.wright.edu/noshelfrequired/?p=529 #
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Making the Case for Digital Printing – Tools of Change Conference – Feb. 22, 1:30 – 3:30
Brian O’Leary and Ashley Gordon
This session was directed to publishers who are thinking about digital printing opportunities. The speakers were obviously pro-digital printing and provided many examples of the benefits of digital printing for publishers. But, libraries should take note. Digital printing could be a good source of revenue for libraries who have large digital collections. I particular like the idea of “chunking” and creating keepsake books from public domain material (discussed below). Consortia could purchase a POD machine and member libraries could use this for a variety of projects, just think of the number of digital collections in one consortia. What great revenue! The speakers discussed 3 overlapping segments in digital printing- digital printing vendors, onsite services, and author services
Digital printing is more than print on demand (POD). POD is a strategy in digital printing.
Content: Think in terms of content, not the physical book Continue reading
Nicolas Baker, famous within libraries for Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper (2001), has written an article about the Kindle for the New Yorker. Not much surprising, general kvetching: the Kindle doesn’t work well with images, text to speach is not an audiobook, not every book is available, etc. but I think it is interesting to see ebooks capturing such a large part of the popular culture’s attention.
The only part I think Mr. Baker missed the mark was in the reader chat forum. A reader asks:
“Do you see e-readers, including the Kindle or even iPod, playing any role in libraries? Or perhaps can you foresee libraries having a role in providing content to such devices? Librarians have played a huge role in my reading life and I’m not ready to cede that role over to Amazon or bn.com at the moment.”
In his response, Mr. Baker mentions print on demand machines and then adds, “but if all books become electronic, the task of big research libraries remains the same—keep what’s published in the form in which it appeared.”
Library = warehouse
First Google, now Amazon, UM has certainly got connections. They announced this week a plan to offer book reprints for sale on Amazon as reprints on demand. According to their press release,”The University of Michigan will make thousands of books that are no longer in copyright — including rare and one-of-a-kind titles — available as reprints on demand under a new agreement with BookSurge, part of the Amazon.com group of companies. The agreement gives the public a unique opportunity to buy reprints of a wide range of titles in the U-M Library for as little as a few dollars. As individual copies are sold on Amazon.com, BookSurge will print and bind the books in soft-cover form.” Continue reading
Pilot project successfully completed / Library users in the USA and Canada can order soft cover copies of Springer eBooks
Way to go Springer! I loved this idea as a pilot, and love it even more now. This is fantastic news for eBooks and end users. I’ve never met an end user who didn’t want to push the print button on an eBook. I wish you much success. sp Continue reading
By Paul Biba
Still another digital deal being done. The more the merrier! From a press release I received from Kirtas:
Kirtas Technologies, the worldwide leader in bound-book digitization, and OCLC, a global online library service and research organization; have signed an agreement that will enable streamlined access to the ever-increasing numbers of digitized books to users of OCLC’s WorldCat and Kirtasbooks.com. Continue reading